Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has been confirmed by a vote of 86-13 as Secretary of Transportation.
In doing so, Buttigieg becomes the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a Cabinet-level position.
Rick Grenell served as the “acting” director of national intelligence for three months, but was neither nominated for the position nor confirmed by the Senate.
In addition to being one of the highest ranking LGBTQ public officials in the country, Buttigieg is also the first millennial to be confirmed to a White House Cabinet position.
The Army veteran is the 19th Transportation Secretary and the 5th member of President Biden’s Cabinet to be confirmed.
Buttigieg and Vice President Kamala Harris are the only two 2020 presidential contenders to join the Biden Cabinet.
LGBTQ advocacy groups were quick to celebrate the news.
The Human Rights Campaign noted the history-making moment writing, “Another barrier broken for our community.”
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said, “Pete shattered a centuries-old political barrier with overwhelming bipartisan support and that paves the way for more LGBTQ Americans to pursue high-profile appointments. Pete testifying at his confirmation hearing, with his husband looking on, will be among the powerful images that define this unprecedented political moment and will be remembered as a milestone in America’s move toward social justice.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, in part:
“The role of Secretary of Transportation requires an innovative thought leader, someone who understands all Americans’ needs and has the courage to create and form the road ahead. Secretary Buttigieg’s vision will improve all Americans’ lives and navigate toward needed change to serve communities on the margins. We know he will continue to lead our country’s drive for LGBTQ acceptance. Congratulations, Secretary Buttigieg.”
“The Indiana Democratic Party is proud of Secretary Buttigieg for all the work he’s accomplished for Hoosiers and the achievements he’ll make while leading the Department of Transportation under the Biden-Harris Administration,” read a statement from the Indiana Democratic Party. “Buttigieg is a true example of what it means to have all voices — including LGBTQ Americans — at the table, and he’ll be an inspiration for so many who until this moment may have believed certain dreams were not possible. “
For those wondering, the thirteen ‘no’ votes (all Republicans) were Sens. Cruz (Texas), Cotton (Ark.), Marshall (Kansas), Scott (Fla.), Tuberville (Ala.), Shelby (Ala.), Hawley (Mo.), Blackburn (Tenn.), Rubio (Fla.), Scott (S.C.), Lankford (Okla.), Hagerty (Tenn.), and Cassidy (La.).
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania did not vote.